Ottawa’s entrepreneurial private eye: Businesswomen of the year nominee Ashley Cyr

Private Eye Investigations owner nominated in emerging entrepreneur category
Ashley Cyr
Ashley Cyr is the owner of Private Eye Investigations. (Photo by Miv Fourner)

On April 20, the Women’s Business Network will honour 12 of Ottawa’s leading women entrepreneurs at its Businesswoman of the Year gala. The nominees are divided into four categories: Emerging entrepreneur; established entrepreneur; organization; and professional. OBJ will profile each nominee leading up to the event.

What is your proudest business accomplishment?

I actually have a few:

  1. Pitching my business idea to a group of investors in January 2016 and managing to win a grant via Invest Ottawa for my startup.
  2. In September 2016, I was a guest speaker at the annual Breakfast on the Rideau hosted by Operation Come Home. We raised over $13,000 that day for the youths of OCH.
  3. In January 2017, I received a call mentioning I was a nominee for the women’s business of the year award in the emerging entrepreneur category.

Who is your greatest inspiration?

With no hesitation, my greatest inspiration is my mother. She is my rock; my best friend. This woman has dedicated and sacrificed so much to ensure that I had the opportunities and the ability to take the risks necessary to start my own business. She supports me and guides me through the obstacles that life throws my way and is always there to provide advice or simply a listening ear. I couldn’t have asked for a better role model.

What is the biggest professional obstacle you’ve had to overcome?

My biggest obstacle as an entrepreneur was shifting gears and really being willing to make major sacrifices in order to get the business up and running and to ensure its continual growth and success. As a female in a very male-dominated career, I’ve had to deal with a lot of misogynistic points of views. Doubts from potential clientele or the general public due to my age and gender were extremely draining and would bring down my confidence. However, I’ve managed to overcome that with the help of my mother, employees and incredible clients. Referrals, word of mouth and overall trust in my professionalism, experience and expertise have managed to reassure individuals that they are hiring the best investigators for the case!

What is the best business advice you’ve ever received?

I went to an Arlene Dickinson speech in January 2017. Her advice was sweet and simple: “Dream Bigger.” It’s a great motto that I live by.